Cameroonian troops have rescued 11 kidnapped victims during a mopping-up operation in Southwest, one of the two troubled English-speaking regions of the country, the army said Friday night.
The operation took place Friday afternoon in Lebialem, a division of the region where armed separatists are known to train and host separatist fighters, officials said.
The hostages, including a Catholic priest and three women in their late 40s, were abandoned by the gunmen after a tough gunfight with troops, according to local authorities.
The victims, some of whom had life-threatening injuries, had been held hostage by armed separatists in an unknown location of the division for over a month, according to security reports.
They were abducted after separatists suspected them of conniving with government forces, locals said. Armed separatists want to create an independent nation in the two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest, and have been clashing with government forces since 2017.